Strategies for Growing Undergraduate Student Enrollment – A Higher Education Marketing Agency Perspective

Strategies for Growing Undergraduate Student Enrollment Unleash Growth

Elliance, a higher education enrollment marketing agency, has built a reputation by both increasing and significantly growing undergraduate student enrollment for more than 50 colleges and universities. Founded on the principle of right-fit matchmaking, our recommended strategies revolve around five core beliefs. First, if they can’t find you, they can’t buy you. Second, if they do find you, you can’t bore them into buying from you. Third, the students must be able to see themselves at your institution. Fourth, you must pursue right-fit students at all cost. Fifth, you must be easy to do business with. All our recommended actions for increasing undergraduate enrollment revolve around these core beliefs:

1. Invest in Branding: Babson has positioned itself as THE college for entrepreneurship, American University as THE supplier of “wonks” to the political and governmental establishment, Drexel as THE university that mandates coop experience, and so on. Investing in a strong brand can lift a college from obscurity to national prominence. Brand your college.

2. Make the First Impressions Count: Fortify every touch point – including websites, social media, open houses, information sessions, grounds, classrooms, tours, and admissions office décor. Claim your Google page one rankings and elevate your search engine snippets. Make your facilities and grounds beautiful because beauty engenders confidence.

3. Define a Distinctive Hook: Become a niche college. Declare a hook like: offering a graduate-in-four-years guarantee (e.g. Randolph-Macon College), a job placement guarantee (e.g. Capitol Technology University) or a tuition lock (e.g. Assumption College). Parents and students are attracted to colleges willing to stand behind their commitments.

4. Sharpen Your Academic Offerings: If you are a niche college, offer an inch-wide, mile-deep portfolio of programs. If you are a broad based educator, offer a large variety of majors and minors.

5. Create an Optimal Website Presence: Make it beautiful. Invest in high-fidelity academic program pages. Make it alumni success centered. Make it outcomes centric. Make it conversion friendly. Make it search engine friendly. Make it responsive. Make it accessible. Feature institutional reputation points. Showcase groups of students in social settings. Celebrate campus life.

6. Lower Admissions Barriers: Offer competitive scholarships and financial aid. Offer early decision and early admissions programs. Offer job guarantees for job placement. Offer 4-year graduation guarantees.

7. Activate an Effective Marketing Air Game: Understand target audiences. Create psychographic and demographic personas. Fortify academic program pages. Deploy smart paid and SEO strategies. Conduct email marketing. Activate traditional media and PR. Deploy both traditional admissions funnel and inverted admissions funnel strategies.

8. Communicate with Influencers: Because students are heavily influenced by their peers, parents, teachers, college counselors in high schools, and principals. Ensure you proactively communicate with influencers. 

9. Mobilize a Strong Boots-on-the-Ground Game Plan: Foster relationships with high schools. Encourage campus visits. Provide virtual tours. Attend industry conferences and events where prospects might be competing in competitions.

10. Create Feeders: Offer summer camps and pre-college programs.  Cultivate relationships with attendees and their families.

11. Follow-up on a Timely Basis: Activate a personalized contact strategy system by a partially automated comm-plan.

12. Respond to Trends: Adapt and refine your strategies based on the evolving landscape of education and the preferences of your target audience.

If you are seeking an enrollment marketing agency for increasing and growing your undergraduate enrollment, consider partnering with us.